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Chong Wei Prepares for Possible Taufik All England Clash

Malaysia's world number two Lee Chong Wei is bracing for a possible quarter-final clash with Indonesia's mercurial Taufik Hidayat in March's All England men's singles championship

Lee is Malaysia's best hopes of singles glory in the world's most prestigious badminton tournament and, though he is the favourite, Taufik can beat anyone on his day.

The Indonesian is known for being temperamental and not trying in minor tournaments. But the All England title is something he wants badly so Lee may come up against Taufik at his best.

Taufik has never won the All England and wants to add it to his 2004 Olympic title. Taufik, though, has a tough first-round encounter against Singapore's former Indonesian representative Ronald Susilo.

Lee also has a difficult opening assignment against compatriot Sairul Amar Ayub in the men's singles draw, which was made recently.

China's world number one and top seed Lin Dan will be confident of marching into the semi-finals, where he could face his first tough test in the form of Denmark's Peter Gade Christensen or South Korea's Lee Hyun-il.

Lin would probably be hoping to play Lee after the Korean beat the Chinese player in a bitter match at the Korean Open final in Seoul in January.

Lin accused the South Korean line judges of favouring Lee and almost came to blows with Korean coach Li Mao.

Third seed Bao Chunlai of China has a tricky first round match against Malaysia's Hafiz Hashim.

Although Hafiz has not been in top form for more than one year, he is a former All England singles champion and the Birmingham arena seems to bring out the best in him.

Malaysia's men's doubles pair of Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong will not be happy with facing Japan's Shuichi Sakamoto and Shintaro Ikeda in the first round.

The Japanese duo beat the Malaysians in the quarter-finals of the World Championships last year and are clearly ready to step up on the big stage.

China are expected to dominate the titles at the All England given their strength in all the five disciplines.












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